Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Michigan is talking about pushing its primary back to January 15, which would mean that New Hampshire would hold its on January 8-- and the Iowa caucus would be pushed back to the first week of January, or the last week in December.

The conventional wisdom is that the effect of this all would be to place greater emphasis on raising early money, although it is hard to see this as a change in emphasis. It seems to me that an alternate scenario might be to de-emphasize Iowa and New Hampshire. Neither is demographically very representative of the rest of the country, and Iowa's significance in particular is a comparatively recent event. Jimmy Carter got a bounce out of Iowa, and after that people started paying attention, but if they hold their caucuses in the week between Christmas and New Years I think turnout will drop like a stone.

On some level I like the idea of the smaller states running their delegate selection process up front, but realistically the notion that the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire are "politics on the retail level" stopped being true some time ago, and now even the Iowa straw poll is a big media deal. It would be pleasing if Iowa and New Hampshire rolled themselves into irrelevance.

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